Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: What Happens To Spells After The Caster Has Died?

  1. #1
    Third Year Ravenclaw
    Bumper Cars in Gringotts
    J Raven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    In the Restricted Section...with Sirius
    Posts
    83

    What Happens To Spells After The Caster Has Died?

    I was having an interesting conversation with DarkOwls the other day and we wondered why the sticking charms that Sirius has on all his posters continue to work after his death, also the spells that the founders placed on Hogwarts are still active 1000ish years later, but the Petrificus Totalus charm the Dumbledore has on Harry stops working when the caster died. From what I gathered, Dumbledore's protections on Hogwarts were still active so why is it that some spells last but others fade after their caster dies?

    We couldn't come up with a plausible answer, so I was wondering, does anyone have any theories on this?


    Jess
    Banner photographed by me and edited by xBeccaxBlackx
    It was worth the chocolate : )


    "One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching"
    Gerard Way

  2. #2
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
    Being Chased by Singing Dwarves with Valentines
    Maple_and_PheonixFeather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Behind my piano
    Posts
    701
    Maybe it's because it was placed on a person, so perhaps only spells placed on people are broken. I don't really have a reason why, except that people can, like, think and stuff, but it could be a plausable answer.
    GRYFFINDOR PRIDE!
    Avvie by me, banner by TM_Wandstick.
    It matters not what one is born, but what they become.Don't let your praying knees get lazy, and love like crazy!

  3. #3
    Seventh Year Hufflepuff
    Being Saved by Our Guardian Anglia
    minnabird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    744
    I think spells you place on objects - like, enchantments - have to be able to stay after the caster dies, otherwise things like brooms would be randomly dropping out of the sky when the person at the broom factory or whatever who made them died. Spells placed on people are generally not meant to be permanent, so it would make sense that they would have to break after their caster died - maybe as a sort of safety measure.

  4. #4
    Third Year Ravenclaw
    Bumper Cars in Gringotts
    J Raven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    In the Restricted Section...with Sirius
    Posts
    83
    Oh that makes sense, thank you. I suppose that would work because of all the people who claimed to be under the imperious curse coming back to the good side after Voldemort fell.

    Jess
    Banner photographed by me and edited by xBeccaxBlackx
    It was worth the chocolate : )


    "One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching"
    Gerard Way

  5. #5
    Masquerade
    Guest
    I think it might depend on the spell you use. The Permanent Sticking Charm would probably actually be permanent, so it would remain after death. The spells placed by the founders would have probably been very powerful magic (or reinforced by teachers) to last so long, since magic usually wears away, so that would have probably been permanent as well.

  6. #6
    keara96
    Guest
    Did the Petrificus Totalus charm that Dumbledore put on Harry really stop working because Dumbledore died? I thought it just wore because that particular spell doesn't last very long. I don't remember what the book said and I don't have it with me to check. Your guys' therories seem good. I've never actually considered this before.

  7. #7
    Third Year Ravenclaw
    Bumper Cars in Gringotts
    J Raven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    In the Restricted Section...with Sirius
    Posts
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by keara96
    Did the Petrificus Totalus charm that Dumbledore put on Harry really stop working because Dumbledore died? I thought it just wore because that particular spell doesn't last very long.
    *Runs back to computer waving her copy of HBP*

    Quote Originally Posted by Half Blood Prince pg 556
    "A jet of green light shot from the end of Snape's wand and hit Dumbledore squarely in the chest. Harry's scream of horror never left him; silent and unmoving, he was forced to watch as Dumbledore was blasted into the air..."
    Then on the next page
    Quote Originally Posted by Half Blood Prince pg 557
    "As they vanished through the door, Harry realised he could move again; what was now holding him paralysed against the wall was not magic, but horror and shock."
    But then later on
    Quote Originally Posted by Half Blood Prince pg 568
    "Harry had known there was no hope from the moment that the Full-Body-Bind curse Dumbledore had put on him lifted, known that it could have happened only because its caster was dead..."
    They almost seem to contradict each other because Dumbledore would have died the moment the curse hit him, but Harry couldn't move then, even though he tried to cry out, unless he tried to cry out at the same time as "the jet of green light shot from the end of Snape's wand" so at that point, Dumbledore was still alive (how fast do spells travel?). That would mean that yes, at least some spells do die with the Caster.


    What interests me is that Harry somehow knew that the spell could only have stopped if Dumbledore had died. Do you think that this is impressive deduction on his part, or would he have been taught that? It seems like something you would learn in DADA, and we all know what a failure that class had been.

    That also makes me wonder how long poor Neville was left lying on the Common room floor in PS before someone found him


    Quote Originally Posted by Masquerade
    I think it might depend on the spell you use. The Permanent Sticking Charm would probably actually be permanent, so it would remain after death. The spells placed by the founders would have probably been very powerful magic (or reinforced by teachers) to last so long, since magic usually wears away, so that would have probably been permanent as well.
    Oh oops, was it a permanent sticking charm. I need to read that again
    True, the spells on the castle would be renewed by the teachers, I forgot about that. Also maybe they anchored the spells into the stones or something so that they would last. In a way, Hogwarts has its own magic, so perhaps they have a way for the enchantments to tap into that magic?


    Quote Originally Posted by minnabird
    I think spells you place on objects - like, enchantments - have to be able to stay after the caster dies, otherwise things like brooms would be randomly dropping out of the sky when the person at the broom factory or whatever who made them died. Spells placed on people are generally not meant to be permanent, so it would make sense that they would have to break after their caster died - maybe as a sort of safety measure.
    I just had a mental image of an entire Quidditch team randomly dropping out of the sky
    Would it be possible to get the flight enchantments to link into the magic of the person on the broom? That would be one way to prevent that happening. It would also provide a way to stop muggles finding a broomstick and thinking "What a cool Halloween prop! I'm going to pretend to fly on it!"

    What do you think?
    Banner photographed by me and edited by xBeccaxBlackx
    It was worth the chocolate : )


    "One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching"
    Gerard Way

  8. #8
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
    You idiot! Always playing the Hero!
    OliveOil_Med's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    My fanfiction notebook broke!
    Posts
    1,547
    I doubt a spell ends just because a person dies. If that were true, then the spell protecting Harry Potter wouldn't work, because his mother had to die in order for the protection to be created.

    Almost like zen sort of thought, isn't it?

    And think of all the other spells that exist after the original creator dies. We wouldn't have the Sorting Hat, most of the paintings at Hogwarts, Time Turners, stops on the Floo Network. There would need to be an entire Department of the Ministry devoted to who invented what, and whether or not they're still alive.

    But if this is something that you want as a plot point for your story, there may still be a way for you to do it. Perhapes it is only certain types of spells that end after the caster dies, spells that are related to the 'lifeforces' of the person who cast it. I think that as long as you were able to explain it well, you would be able to pull it off.

    Liturature is wonderful that way. Just think of all the things J.K. got us to believe!

    Brand New Story!

    Banner by lullaby_BANG. Completely awesome avi came from here!

    My brand new trailer for Snape Didn't Die by thegirllikeme to serve as a constant source of inspiration whilst I write!

  9. #9
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
    Kill the Spare
    Equinox Chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    using rare and complicated words
    Posts
    2,991
    I doubt a spell ends just because a person dies. If that were true, then the spell protecting Harry Potter wouldn't work, because his mother had to die in order for the protection to be created.
    Lily didn't create or cast a spell to protect Harry. It was old magic, deep magic, 'LOVE' as Dumbledore would say that protected Harry. Lily had no idea what she was doing in those last moments, but she was given the chance to survive and didn't take it. That's was what protected Harry.

    And as Jess (sorry, I got the name wrong earlier) said, there is a precedent for a spell not lasting when the caster has died and that's Harry being released from the Petrificas Totalis as soon as Snape killed Dumbledore. Dumbledore had a shrewd idea he was going to die that night once Draco burst into the room, so the spell he cast on Harry could easily have been deliberately temporary. It probably is only certain types of spell, maybe the permanent ones (like the Blacks' Sticking Charms) are what they say - 'permanent'- but spells do wear off (Ron's spell checking charm on his quill, for instance).
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 06-03-2011 at 08:40 PM.

    Banner by the fabulous Julia - theoplaeye

  10. #10
    Tafka
    Guest
    Oh my, here I am, my first post, not even sorted and I'm already responding to a conversation about the deeper workings of magic. I can't help myself, this sort of discussion is like catnip to me!

    I theorize that there are some spells that have an element of concentration to them, and that the caster is actually maintaining the spell with their own magic for a long time after it is cast. This would make sense for a spell like Petrificus Totalus, where the person it was cast on is presumably resisting it for the entire duration. I'd think there is some part of Dumbledore's mind (perhaps not even a conscious part) that is maintaining the spell on Harry, which is why it fades once Dumbledore's power is no longer there to keep it active.

    Meanwhile the wall in Sirius' bedroom would not be expected to fight against having something stuck on it, and so the charm stays active after Sirius' death. From the manner in which various people talk about the Permanent Sticking Charm on Mrs. Black's portrait, (That they talk about getting it off at all!) I get the impression that spell can be given a certain amount of magic "strength" at the time it was cast, and, in theory, can be broken, eventually, with enough magical power applied. I imagine breaking a spell like that is like pulling on a rope that is tied to an anchor: apply enough strength and it will move, while breaking a spell like Petrificus Totalus (or Imperio) is more like a tug-of-war with the caster.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •